With over a dozen people working tirelessly behind the scenes at BikeRadar to bring you all the latest bike reviews and riding advice, someone on our motley crew is always off doing something fun and/or foolish.
- The Sufferfest Training Centre app first ride review
- Welcome to the world's weirdest cyclocross race
- The best trail centres in Wales
For this new weekly feature we’ll bring you the edited highlights of our past week — don’t worry, we’ve edited out the naughty bits, for now. They’re being stockpiled to guarantee Christmas article deadlines are hit.
In the past seven days, we’ve raced at the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Champs (SSCXWC PDX) in Portland, Oregon, filmed in snowy Finland, honed our hottest Instagram poses at a Welsh trail centre, invented ‘cake tapas’ and more. If you reckon you can top that lot, please tell us in the comments below!
For our social media manager Josh, the weekend was a chance to ride the Surrey hills of home. “With the previous night’s excesses still lingering, we took an easy spin down to Trodds Lane near Guildford, followed by Coombe Lane and the Crocknorth climb near Effingham before heading back to Esher. Although a relatively easy ride, it was great to see some familiar faces and also the hundreds of other cyclists from local clubs enjoying the sunny Surrey hills.”
Over in the Rocky Mountains meanwhile, our US editor-in-chief Ben says: “Since the rides to school look like this now in Boulder, Colorado, I’ve been hiding inside, testing a smorgasbord of apps like The Sufferfest, along with new smart trainers and indoor bikes.”
Our women’s editor Aoife had a busy weekend, attending the Hope Tech Women’s Ride at the Forest of Dean trail centre on Saturday together with our production editor Helen, then supervising the excitable pairing of staff writer Jack and videographer Reuben at Afan trail centre on Sunday.
Despite the rather damp conditions, more than 60 female riders turned up to the Women’s Ride on Saturday. “It was great to have Tracy Moseley and Katy Curd leading rides along with the Hope Tech team too,” says Helen. “Thanks to Rachael and the team for the post-ride cake (lots of cake) and tea as well.”
Speaking of cake, Aoife has invented a whole new way of enjoying baked goods — little wonder, after all that riding. “Post-ride tea and cake is an important part of the weekend riding ritual in my book, so we sampled the delights of the local cafe in a style I like to call ‘cake tapas’ — a selection of different cakes shared between everyone. The caramel apple cake won.”
As for our Instagram kids Jack and Reuben, Sunday was a chance to sample the dark, damp and moodily misty woods of Afan in South Wales. Reuben was testing bikes, Jack was pitting his bike handling skills on a rigid MTB against mulch-covered, rock-lined trails.
“With dreich weather forecast and an abundance of semi-ironic hashtags thought up during the preceding five days, #epic results on my Instagram seemed like a certainty,” says Jack. “My incredibly uncomfortable road ride with Reuben and Joe on Saturday and the accompanying collage brought me moderate success, but the real standout was Reuben’s signature pose at Afan the following day.”
Speaking of our videographer Joe, he’s been out in snowy Finland visiting the tyre testing gurus at Wheel Energy Lab to find out which are the fastest road clinchers in the world. Watch out for the video on BikeRadar’s YouTube channel, coming very soon…
Back stateside, our US tech editor Josh was racing last weekend’s Singlespeed Cyclocross World Champs (SSCXWC PDX) in Portland, Oregon. “‘You’re a big boy now,’ yelled some random woman as she slapped my soiled jean shorts and sent me on my way. Dazed and confused, I made my way past the mud-splattered male and female strippers and hopped back on my bike. And that was just the first five minutes of racing.”
Our other US correspondent, Russell, didn't spend the week in the US at all as he was participating in the 2nd Titan Tropic in Cuba. A tired and battered Russell reports: "The 5-day stage race began in Havana and wound its way through the Cuban countryside following farm roads, dirt two tracks and plenty of busted pavement, all concluding on the white sand beaches of Cayo Jutias. Brutal humidity and fully pinned pace lines were the norm as the stages ranged in length from 68k to 119k. I'm happy to report I moved up in the ranks throughout the race locking in a tie for 18th on the final stage and somehow finishing in 28th place out of 148 riders."
Finally, we asked on social media what our readers have been up to, and the best entry received so far was from Yorkshire Lass Cycling Club, who celebrated their annual festive jaunt last weekend. “Much fun and laughter all round!” they say.